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Russia, Belarus, Serbia kick off Slavic Brotherhood joint counter-terror drills

In the course of the joint maneuvers, the forces will practice carrying out tactical operations and an airborne assault to provide support for the arrival of the basic forces

KRASNODAR, June 16. /TASS/. The active phase of the Slavic Brotherhood-2021 international drills kicked off at the Rayevsky practice range near Novorossiysk, involving almost 1,000 troops from Russia, Belarus and Serbia, Deputy Commander of Russia’s Airborne Force for Peacekeeping Operations and Collective Operational Response Forces Lieutenant General Andrei Kholzakov announced on Wednesday.

"We hold these drills each year on the territory of one of the countries - Belarus, Russia and Serbia. This year, the exercise is running on the Rayevsky training ground of the Airborne Force’s Novorossiysk mountain air assault division. The basic task this year is to practice the cohesion of units and headquarters so that our collective headquarters and forces can be ready for any trials," the general said.

Overall, the joint maneuvers involve about 100 military personnel from Serbia, around 300 servicemen of Belarusian special operations forces with 60 combat vehicles and over 500 troops and 100 items of military hardware of the Novorossiysk Guards mountain air assault formation, he specified.

Goals and tasks of joint maneuvers

In the course of the joint maneuvers, the Russian, Belarusian and Serbian forces will practice new aspects of interaction. In particular, they will practice carrying out tactical operations and an airborne assault to provide support for the arrival of the basic forces. Under the drills’ scenario, the troops will fight notional terrorists, the general said.

For his part, Deputy Commander of the Belarusian Special Operations Forces Colonel Vladimir Beliy said that the drills would also focus on maintaining international military contacts and synchronizing approaches "with the Slavic brothers and colleagues from the Armed Forces of Russia and the Republic of Serbia."

"Speaking about military goals, our basic task is to share and gain the experience of conducting anti-saboteur and counter-terror operations," he added.

In the course of their trip to Russia, the Belarusian personnel will also study new trends in the development of armaments and military hardware, in particular, advanced electronic warfare and reconnaissance means, the Belarusian officer said.

Meanwhile, Serbian lieutenant colonel Goran Vidakovic said at the drills’ opening ceremony that not a single problem had emerged with the maneuvers in previous years. He said he hoped that the drills would be held "at a high level", and the troops would demonstrate good results.

Slavic Brotherhood drills have been held since 2015. Last year, the Slavic Brotherhood Russian-Belarusian maneuvers ran on the Brestsky training ground in Belarus in September.